The water-laced city of Venice lies suspended between reality and fantasy. Experience the unique pleasures of this ethereal city on this special tour and become part of its daily rhythms during a time when fewer visitors are here.

Starting at: $3,995 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 View of the Doge's Palace and Campanile from the canal in Venice  Venice's San Marco  Piazza San Marco at night  Fresco by Veronese seen at the Accademia in Venice. Credit: Peter Barritt/Alamy  Contemporary glass designed in Murano  The skill of glass blowing in Murano  Colorful homes along a canal in the fishing village of Burano  Rialto Bridge in Venice  A traveler in Venice  The legendary Grand Canal in Venice

Insider's Venice

8 days from $3,995

The water-laced city of Venice lies suspended between reality and fantasy. Experience the unique pleasures of this ethereal city on this special tour and become part of its daily rhythms during a time when fewer visitors are here.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

The exceptional expertise of the Smithsonian Journeys Expert brought Venice's unique history and complex artistic heritage to alive. Their incredible knowledge and insights demonstrated a longtime commitment and love of the city. 

- Denise F.

we got a perspective on Venice that we never would have gotten on our own.

- Martha and Tim S.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Overview

The water-laced city of Venice lies suspended between reality and fantasy. Go behind the scenes to experience the unique pleasures of this ethereal city and become part of its daily rhythms during a time when fewer visitors are here.

Highlights Include: 

  • Behind-the-Scenes Access: Visit the Basilica San Marco during an after-hours tour and enjoy privileged access to areas normally closed to the public.
  • Iconic Sites: Be immersed in Venetian history, culture, and art during a private tour of the Doge’s Palace, former political seat of the Serene Republic. Learn about the art of Titian, Bellini, Veronese, and Tintoretto during an in- depth visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia.
  • The Grand Canal: Experience the sumptuous style of 18th-century Venice at                 Ca’ Rezzonico with its rich collection of frescoes, paintings, and period furniture. At the Palazzo Pisani-Moretta admire the Tiepolo ceiling, beautiful Murano glass chandeliers, and vista of the Grand Canal.
  • Neighborhood Walks: Visit a small museum and local synagogue in the Jewish Ghetto and view paintings by Tintoretto, Titian, and Bellini in churches in the Dorsoduro district. Crossing the canal to the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, view architecture of Palladio during a private tour of the Cini Foundation and the nearby church, one of his masterpieces.
  • The Venetian Lagoon: Explore the island of Murano, home to Venetian glassblowers since 1291, and by special arrangement, visit a glassblowing factory. On the original settlement of Torcello, savor lunch at the renowned Locanda Cipriani and view important mosaics. Also stop at Burano, a colorful fishing island also known for its lace-making. 

The exceptional expertise of the Smithsonian Journeys Expert brought Venice's unique history and complex artistic heritage to alive. Their incredible knowledge and insights demonstrated a longtime commitment and love of the city. 

- Denise F.

we got a perspective on Venice that we never would have gotten on our own.

- Martha and Tim S.

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. for Venice

Upon arrival the next day, transfer to the centrally located Hotel Saturnia. This evening, gather for a welcome reception and dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 — Doge’s Palace and San Marco

Begin your immersion into Venetian history, culture, and art with a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace, the former political seat of the Serene Republic. This afternoon, enjoy a visit to Palazzo Pisani Moretta to admire the Tiepolo ceiling, the beautiful Murano glass chandeliers, and the view of the Grand Canal from the piano nobile. Then, savor the experience of a special after-hours tour of the grand Basilica di San Marco. View dazzling mosaics, which reflect the eastern Byzantine style that influenced the Venetian craftsmen, and admire the exquisite Pala d'Oro, a 10th-century golden altarpiece studded with enamel work and precious stones. Enjoy privileged access to parts of the Basilica that are normally closed to the public. (B)

Day 4 — Murano, Torcello, and Burano

Travel by private motorlaunch to other islands in the Venetian Lagoon. Murano has been the home of Venetian glassblowers since 1291, when the furnaces and glass craftsmen were ordered to leave Venice due to the risk of fire in the city. Visit a glassblowing factory by special arrangement. Then continue to the island of Torcello and savor a lunch of Venetian specialties at the renowned country inn, Locanda Cipriani. At the 9th-century Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, view the 13th-century apse mosaic, a moving portrayal of the Madonna and Child, and the Last Judgment mosaic covering the entire west wall. Return to Venice in the late afternoon, after a stop at the colorful fishing island of Burano, renowned for its lace-making. (B,L)

Day 5 — Ca’ Rezzonico and the Dorsoduro District

Experience the sumptuous style of 18th-century Venice during a visit to Ca’ Rezzonico on the Grand Canal, a baroque palace that showcases a rich collection of 18th-century frescoes, paintings, and period furniture. Conclude the morning with a walking tour of the neighborhood, known as the Dorsoduro district. Visit the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, filled with a dramatic cycle of paintings by Tintoretto. Continue to the magnificent Gothic church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari to admire works by Titian and Bellini. Then enjoy some time at leisure to explore this magical city on your own. (B)

Day 6 — Accademia

A lecture on the use of color and light in Venetian painting prepares you for an in-depth visit to the Galleria dell’Accademia, whose fine painting collection spans the Byzantine, Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo periods. Highlights include large altarpieces by Carpaccio, Giovanni Bellini, and da Conegliano and paintings by Titian, Veronese, and Tintoretto. This afternoon, visit the Jewish Ghetto, which has particular significance, as it was the first of its kind in Italy. Explore the neighborhood and visit a small museum and local synagogue. End the day at the church, Madonna dell’Orto, to view interior paintings by Tintoretto. (B)

Day 7 — San Giorgio Maggiore

Learn about the unique architectural design of Venice during a morning lecture. Then cross the lagoon to visit a Palladian masterpiece, the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, rebuilt between 1559 and 1580. Palladio used the Classical style of ancient Rome in designing the temple front and the perfect interior proportions of this church. By special arrangement, tour the adjacent Cini Foundation, a former Benedictine monastery with cloisters, also designed by Palladio. The monastery was rehabilitated in the 1950s by Count Vittorio Cini and now houses international events and exhibitions. Enjoy some time at leisure strolling through enchanting streets of this idyllic city. This evening celebrate your Venetian interlude during a festive farewell reception and dinner. (B,R,D)

Day 8 — Depart Venice

Depart Venice for the U.S. on individual flights (B)